Polyphenols are a critical part of your long term health. Why? Because they speak to our cells and activate incredibly powerful genes, which research shows increase longevity and have disease fighting properties.
Polyphenols are phytochemicals with antioxidant compounds found in natural plant-based foods. Common phytonutrients are flavonoids, carotenoids, lignans, and resveratrol. Each of these performs a variety of functions in plants, such as infection protection, UV radiation shielding, and adding flavor, scent, and color. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals that can help prevent and treat conditions such as cardiovascular disease, digestion problems, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. As antioxidants, polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties that can protect cells against free radical action.
Studies show that most people consume between 100 mg to 1000 mg of polyphenols per day, but many health experts, including Dr. Barry Sears, recommend 2,000 mg per day. Polyphenols are fat soluble. Therefore, the health benefits are enhanced and better absorbed when consumed with healthy fats. Some of the top food sources rich in polyphenols are:
- Cloves and other seasonings
- Cocoa powder and dark chocolate
- Non-berry fruits
- Black and green tea
- Red wine
My favorite way to increase polyphenols is by eating local or organic fresh vegetables and in-season berries with a small amount of healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, wild caught salmon, or avocado. I also focus on eating a variety of different colored vegetables. Each color represents different phytonutrients that your body needs. There are over 25,000 phytonutrients found in plant foods, which is why eating a variety of them will guarantee you get the biggest health benefit. Phytonutrients are powerhouses when it comes to attacking harmful free radicals, lowering the risk of certain cancers, reducing inflammation, and more. As you are your own health expert, plan to choose foods you enjoy from the list and see the effects for yourself! Thank you, Jack